Late Night Open Thread: Violins So Tiny, Even Lord Smallgloves Could Play One

90 replies
  1. 1
    randy khan says:

    Someone pointed out to me that a head count of the Republicans earlier today not only had 17 no votes and 8 probably no votes (or, if they all hold, more than enough to torpedo the bill), but that it included less than half of the caucus – in other words, over 50% of the Republicans in the House have said nothing at all about how they plan to vote. That’s fascinating, to say the least.

  2. 2
    Wag says:

    Popcorn. Breakfast of champions.

    Well, that and schadenfreude.

  3. 3
    Mike J says:

    In the previous threads I put links to the changes that have been released. Of course the problem is that half the Republicans are afraid to vote for a bill that will kill their constituents and the other half want something worse.

  4. 4
    efgoldman says:

    @Mike J:

    half the Republicans are afraid to vote for a bill that will kill their constituents and the other half want something worse

    You’d think they’d have better survival instincts. It’s like they don’t know what happened to Huelskamp (sp?) when he opposed a routine farm bill because he was a True Believer.

  5. 5

    Well, I had kind of a weird day! Got to work an hour late because everything went wrong this morning, then ran into a difficult problem but ended up solving it with math! I also wrote a fair bit in my novel and I’m gonna send a few more chapters off to a beta reader so that’s moving along nicely, always a nice feeling.

    Looks like we’re in for quite a week, eh? Got a vacation in Napa to look forward to at the end, myself.

  6. 6
    Mike J says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Got a vacation in Napa to look forward to at the end, myself.

    My mom’s stayed out of the hospital for a solid month and said she wanted to go to the sandhill crane festival on the other side of the mountains this weekend. So I’m gonna take her over.

  7. 7
    Mnemosyne says:

    I have a writer’s conference that starts on Friday, and I have 3 critiques to do between now and then. It ain’t happening tonight, though — I need to take my cough-ridden carcass to an early bedtime. Stupid cold.

  8. 8
    amk says:

    ‘Elected’ by russians. Owned by chinese. maga indeed.

  9. 9
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @randy khan: … a head count of the Republicans …

    You’ll get a more accurate number with an asshole count.

  10. 10
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    I have to think the cuts to white socialism (meals on wheels, Medicaid) have really fucked Drumpf over the last week.

    3rd rail of politics = white socialism

  11. 11
    Mnemosyne says:

    And since I’m feeling cranky tonight, can I point out that the people who claimed to have all kinds of moral scruples about a “Clinton dynasty” are suddenly nowhere to be seen while Trump installs his family members as advisers?

    I guess dynasties are only bad when it’s a Democrat in charge.

  12. 12
    Mike J says:

    @Mnemosyne: I can think of at least one other Dynasty that’s bad.

    Or two.

  13. 13
    BlueDWarrior says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch: Honestly it’s part of the Democrats calculations when designing these programs (properly), is that uprooting them would tear out so much land along with the tree that most people would not see it as worthwhile. Unless you were an asshole with severe hatred of trees, anyway.

  14. 14

    @Mike J: I will never not think of credence when I think of Lodi.

  15. 15
    danielx says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Lucky you, but at this point reading the news is almost like a vacation – or would be, if the potential consequences were not so serious.

    Things could be worse – we could have a mentally unbalanced person with repugnant views and questionable morals who was competent in the Oval Office.

    I remembered a passage from the Winds of War, by Herman Wouk:

    If Hitler were the half-crazy, half-comical gangster we’ve been reading about, this war would be a pushover, because running a war takes brains, steadiness, strategic vision, and skill. Unfortunately for the Allies, he is a very able man.

    Fortunately or unfortunately, lord shortfingers is something less than an able man in his present circumstances. He might have done well enough as a real estate/gambling/developer/grifter – certainly he never suffered any real consequences from his multitudinous fuckups, which says something about his ability to slither his way out of tight spots. Now he is so far out of his depth he can’t see the surface from where he is, and he doesn’t even seem to know what appears to be obvious to everyone else.

  16. 16
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    I know! It’s the damnedest thing….

  17. 17
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Do you pop into the writers’ chats here, 4M?

  18. 18
    sanjeevs says:

    Correct me if I am wrong , but Comey putting the WH publicly on notice that there is an ongoing investigation , means that now Trump cannot make any further disparaging comments on the investigation, otherwise he may be facing obstruction of justice charges.
    His notably stopped tweeting about this and seems he didn’t mention it at his rally.

  19. 19
    Mike J says:

    @danielx: France, Denmark, and the UK have moved troops into Estonia because Russia is having wargames on the border and they want to dissuade them, and we don’t know whose side our president would take.

    And it’s probably not in the top ten news stories in the US.

  20. 20
    wjs says:

    Oh, and Woody Harrelson gave up pot. A year ago.

    Tell me again what happened about that time? Yeah, the whole world started going to hell. Coincidence? I think not.

  21. 21
    Yarrow says:

    @Mnemosyne: I saw you asking about hot toddy recipes. Don’t forget about chicken soup. It’s good for colds. Skip the canned kind and find a good source near you.

  22. 22
    jl says:

    @danielx: Hitler was surrounded by ‘top people’, at least in terms of technical competence if not ethics. I think competent or incompetent insane people in power are very dangerous. It’s ‘pick your poison’ situation. Aka, frying pan or fire. When I get skeered about it, I remember that Trump folds when confronted. He might commit the US to some catastrophic policy, or he may fold, and then run off to another 2020 campaign rally and pretend like nothing happened (like I just now see in the news he did today).

    But nothing will happen unless or until the midterms look like a total disaster for the GOP Congress. Then, President Pence will start to sound pretty good to them.

    Edit: and ol’ oilman Rex don’t want stuff blowed up. Ba fer bidness. We might be glad he decided to keep a few million stake in Exxon.

  23. 23

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): I try, but I haven’t been awake for the last couple! I’m a sleeper on weekends.

    @danielx: sure, malignant incompetence is all well and good for now, but sooner or later North Korea is going to toss one at Japan or something.

  24. 24
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    Interesting… let’s see how long he maintains radio silence (as it were).

  25. 25
    amk says:

    @sanjeevs: Good point. Do comey or the rethugs have the guts to tell him to stfu till it’s over?

  26. 26
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    He was a talented writer. Guess you could say Herman was Wouk.


  27. 27
    SFBayAreaGal says:

    @Mike J: Another Dynasty that was popular in the 1980s. Mansion shown in the opening credits is the Filoli Mansion in Woodside, CA

  28. 28
    lahke says:

    Just meandering in after a day off line–can I express my heartfelt love for Adam Schiff? What a great summation! Maybe he can do the impeachment.

  29. 29
    Oldgold says:

    Like the GOP Representatives on the House Intelligence Committee, I am interested in knowimg who the leakers are. Not to pumish them, but to honor their courage and patriotism.

  30. 30
    mai naem mobile says:

    @sanjeevs: except that Dolt 45 thinks he’s above the law. Also, I doubt if Dolt or his daughter understand the meaning of obstruction of justice. Jared,I’m guessing knows sonce his daddy went to prison for stuff like that.

  31. 31
    tobie says:

    @wjs: To paraphrase form Airplane!, it looks like it was the wrong year to quit sniffing glue.

  32. 32
    Neldob says:

    @Mnemosyne: Turmuric tea is good and good for colds too.

  33. 33
    danielx says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    sure, malignant incompetence is all well and good for now, but sooner or later North Korea is going to toss one at Japan or something.

    I agree, and was blathering about it in earlier thread. My point then (and now for that matter) is that whatever happens, whenever it happens, it will not be Donald Trump’s fault. Nothing is ever Donald Trump’s fault. Picturing Robin Williams doing a Trump impression: the buck stops here here here here here here and there, but not HERE!

  34. 34
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    Fixxed News just indefinitely suspended “Judge” Andrew Napolitano (the guy who pushed the smear that Obama had James Bond wiretap Drumpf).

    Rupert doesn’t like it when he’s embarrassed in England.

  35. 35
    sanjeevs says:

    @amk: I am hoping its a trap that he falls into. He needs to be removed quickly with a simple impeachment charge, I think. Obstruction of Justice fits that bill. The Russia collusion would take too long to prove. There is a massive power vacuum in Asia and Europe right now. I don’t think we have 2 years to remove him.

  36. 36
    sukabi says:

    @sanjeevs: they’ve probably put him in a straitjacket and ballgagged him…

  37. 37
    Emerald says:

    I’m kinda hoping that Dianne Feinstein is right and that he’ll just quit when the flames get too hot.

    While yeah, I’d like to see him impeached, that takes a long time and I want him gone as soon as possible.

    Then we can start on Pence. Next in line, I hear, is Orrin Hatch, and he’s at least a human being.

  38. 38
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Emerald: No, it’s Paul Ryan, who isn’t.

  39. 39
    Raoul says:

    Tillerson skipping NATO and going to Russia the following week seems like it could be at least somewhat important. Also supremely tone deaf to have that get out today, after the Comey hearing. But this admin is wearing top of the line noise cancelling headphones, with ear plugs, while screaming LA-LA-LA-LA at 111% of full volume.

  40. 40

    @Emerald: Impeachment can happen in an afternoon if the House wants to.

  41. 41

    @hellslittlestangel: not if Nancy Smash takes over in 2019.

  42. 42
    tobie says:

    @sanjeevs: The power vacuum worries me, too. Germany, Japan and China, I think, are beginning to see the possibilities and challenges of a world in which they’re the principal players. The difference this will make in lifestyles here, though, is tremendous. I’m not sure the next occupant of the White House will be able to undo the damage quickly. It takes a long time to build up prestige. It can be pissed away, though, in a few months time.

  43. 43
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    Yep, bad optics, to be sure. These clowns are as incompetent as they are corrupt.

  44. 44
    efgoldman says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    sooner or later North Korea is going to toss one at Japan or something.

    I know that Fearless Leader, or whatever the fuck they’re calling this one, is not necessarily rational, but will he really risk his half of the peninsula being turned to glass?

  45. 45
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Raoul: Tillerson is just trying to take of his real boss – ExxonMobil. He will give a commission to some Trumpy family member from Exxon after getting rid of the sanctions. These people are truly disgusting.

  46. 46
    sanjeevs says:

    In Asia, Philippines flipped to China last year. Malaysia and Thailand moved notably closer. Trump torpedoing the TPP with no replacement has caused everyone in Asia to reevalauate.
    Japan and South Korea must be wondering if they are better going it alone rather than relying on an erratic (at best admin) or one which seems to auction off its foreign policy to the highest bidder. The trust built up over 70 years is dissipating fast.

  47. 47
    jl says:


    ” The difference this will make in lifestyles here, though, is tremendous. ”

    You mean in terms of economics? I don’t see how. Give an example, please.
    I worry about war, and civil unrest in world hot spots. I think US position in the world economy is fine, even with 4 years of BS. Of course, if the Trumpsters decide to try to default on US debt, then all bets are off, but then, that is another thing altogether.

  48. 48
    jl says:

    @sanjeevs: I think relative US position in terms of trade deals and supposed economic re-alignments is not a big worry. I think that talk and line of thinking is all BS that was used to sell the TPP.

    Edit: example of a bigger worry, Trumpsters trying to lock US into fossil fuel economy oligarchy with Russia, just as it is becoming uneconomic around the world.

  49. 49
    sanjeevs says:

    @jl: Have you ever tried doing business in China? Where you are forced to ‘partner’ with a friend of the government and are invited to share your IP. A few more years of Trumpism and that’s how business will be for the US in the rest of Chinese aligned Asia.

  50. 50

    @efgoldman: People have done stupider things. You think they’re developing nuclear-tipped ICBM’s that can hit California for fun?

  51. 51
    Chet Murthy says:

    @jl: @sanjeevs: I’ve watched the TPP debate for the last couple of years. And there are two stories about it:

    (1) “not a free trace pact”; in fact, protectionism for big companies, stripping of democratic governance, stripping of labor and environmental protections

    (2) “a new plan to cement East Asia in a US-centric set of trade rules”; instead, those nations are slowly slipping into China’s orbit

    Those two stories aren’t incompatible (ISTM). But I’m not knowledgeable …. ISTM that the elites who wrote this thing, were so convinced it was important for us (and maybe it even was) that they decided they coudl lard it up with bennies for themselves. And then, well, along came Dampnut, but even without him, it wasn’t looking likely that TPP would pass, eh?

    Our elites really are out of control, aren’t they? Even when it’s something that’s arguably in all our interest, they gotta screw it up.

    N.B.: I an -not- defending the TPP. Not. Just pointing out that if there -were- a kernel of imrportant international relations in there, our elites sure screwed the pooch, eh?

    ETA: Yeah, @sanjeevs is what I was alluding to.

  52. 52
  53. 53
    jl says:

    @sanjeevs: You are saying that China will do export/import business Trump style, or Trump will?

    If Trump will try to force Trumpist trade deals on Asia, yes that would be bad for US. But if that is the kind of business model China wants to use, then we can offer better to other Asian countries after Trump is out. So, you’ll have to explain which it is for me to understand.

    I agree that Trump can unilaterally mess up trade with other countries. He can also start tariff wars. But seems to me that is different from other countries telling the US to take a walk and doing their own deals. I don’t seeing that by itself being devastating to US economy.

  54. 54
    sanjeevs says:

    @Chet Murthy: I live in Asia so I followed story (2) and not (1). As you say they are not incompatible. Its very noticeable how US influence in Asia diminished in 2016 and will do so further for the foreseeable future.

  55. 55

    @Chet Murthy: More than a kernel of important international relations. TPP was to a significant degree an effort to contain China. It was impolitic to say that out loud for various reasons. Perhaps if we’d gotten to the point where we were debating it in public (which would have been a step in the process! “negotiated in secret” doesn’t mean signed in secret, debated in secret, voted on in secret), it would have come up, but it didn’t get that far.

  56. 56


    even with 4 years of BS.

    Sorry to disappoint you jl, Wilmer still didn’t get elected.

  57. 57

    @Major Major Major Major:

    You think they’re developing nuclear-tipped ICBM’s that can hit California for fun?

    No, but being that none of them seem to even make it to Japan doesn’t exactly cause a panic attack for me here in CA.

  58. 58
    opiejeanne says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I finished the chapters you sent, and I reread the original group. I will mail you my notes in a day or two. Still chewing on it.

    Overall, I like it a lot.

  59. 59
    jl says:

    @Chet Murthy: @sanjeevs: TPP has parts that can be described as free trade and parts that are not free trade. From analyses I read the free trade parts were good, but would have very minor impact on US economy; ;they would help other Asian economies more than us. Not free trade parts were pushing US style IP protection on other countries, and continued push for multi-national corporate friendly dispute resolution mechanisms. Labor and environmental standards were raised, but no meaningful enforcement mechanisms.

    For countries with, say, substantial and rapidly growing, pharmaceutical industries, for example, I am not sure whether US pushing corporate IP agenda attracted countries or alienated countries.

  60. 60
    jl says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I’m getting in the car and heading down to SoCal with a case of woop-ass for somebody.

  61. 61

    @opiejeanne: Cool, thanks.

    ETA: Can you send me a two-sentence summary for now? I get nervous when I know something is coming, lol.

  62. 62
    opiejeanne says:

    @Mike J: I’m not sure which side our president is on wrt our troops in Syria.

  63. 63
    tobie says:

    @jl: Yes, I do mean in terms of economics. Free trade deals have increased the volume of trade, and the TPP was specifically designed to make it easier for the US to export goods it couldn’t before. It made a big difference agricultural producers to tell their produce in previously closed markets. It ensured that Asian countries that previously didn’t respect intellectual property of any sort now had to. It lifted tariffs against US goods in countries in the Pacific Rim. TPP was specifically designed to protect US manufacturers. We can kiss that goodbye. And if the US gets all protectionist vis-a-vis Europe, we can expect punitive sanctions. And Mexico is already looking to Brazil to buy its corn instead of the US. So, yes, Trump’s rhetoric has made our economic situation far more uncertain. Check out any column by Martin Wolf, for instance, if you want a more detailed explanation of the economic challenges we’ll be facing in the Trumpocene.

  64. 64
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    I assume the shitshow bill will pass in similar ways to Medicare Part D, with the vote held open a mysteriously long time and campaign cash handed out in the lobby. Then to the Senate, where who knows?

  65. 65
  66. 66
    tobie says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Elizabeth Warren’s demagoguing of the TPP has soured me on her. Some of her critiques may be legitimate but mostly she seemed to want to kill the deal before it could be debated at all.

  67. 67
    Chet Murthy says:

    @sanjeevs: @jl: Uh, I think we’re in agreement, except for the part about “free trade”. The way I read it, it really didn’t lower trade barriers. Apropos of, my understanding is that in recent years the US has had very little success in lowering trade barriers. E.g. what @sanjeevs suggested about China — I know this from personal experience whlie working at Very Big Computer Co: friend got sent over to debug big-ass JVM app on big-ass iron; he had to leave all tools (in source) that he used to debug, with Chinese partner company.

    Though, the was I understood it, the “env & labor” chapters of TPP were basically just wishlists with no enforcement mechanisms, whereas ISDS was -very- robust. So …. well, it was pretty clear which would win out in the end.

    As I said: Our elites seem pretty fricken’ subhuman a lot of the time. Cretins.

    ETA: heh, it’s clear that a lotta people on this blog have advanced degrees. So obv. “elite” doesn’t mean “highly educated”. I think it means “highly placed, whether by wealth, connections, or ability”. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s always the first two. Damn, if I weren’t sure I’d be first against the wall, I’d -so- root for the tumbrils.

    ETA^2: “The way I read it” == “mostly from reading people like Dean Baker, but others too”.

  68. 68

    @tobie: Warren is, as it turns out, a politician.

  69. 69
    Chet Murthy says:

    @tobie: here’s an example article from dean Baker re: TPP and here’s another discussing a USITC (governmental body) report on same.

    His gist is that the proponents are wildly optimistic. He notes that the Peterson Institute was discounting the possibility of large job losses from China’s accession to the WTO (Autor et al seem to have put paid to that, showing that there were significant negative effects).

  70. 70
    opiejeanne says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I am a bit discombobulated right now. We drove from Yreka to Seattle today, and from Huntington Beach to Yreka yesterday. I’m exhausted and I got home in time to find out that a friend of 20 years is dying. She’s going into hospice this week.
    Give me a little time to recover; I may fall asleep before I can type much.

  71. 71
    tobie says:

    @Chet Murthy:

    Though, the was I understood it, the “env & labor” chapters of TPP were basically just wishlists with no enforcement mechanisms, whereas ISDS was -very- robust.

    This strikes me as the wrong way of reading the purpose of trade agreements. A Bangladeshi worker in a sock factory is never going to earn as much as an American worker in a sock factory. If she did, sock prices would go through the roof and none of us could afford to buy more than a few pairs; and if a US worker earned as little as a Bangladeshi worker, she’d also not be able to buy more than a pair of socks, and the volume of trade overall would drop precipitously.

    The idea of a trade deal like TPP or for that matter NAFTA is to try to raise the wage of a Bangladeshi worker, while at the same time recognizing that there are some kinds of manufacturing that it is more cost effective to do abroad whereas others, because of the skill requirements, need to be performed here. The volume of trade covers the case of these trade offs, though it is of course painful for those in the affected industries. That’s where things like domestic infrastructure projects come in. You can employ people who’ve lost their jobs while at the same time creating added value for the whole economy in the form of better public facilities.

  72. 72

    @opiejeanne: Oh my gosh, hang in there and take your time. Any feedback at all is always a kindness, triply so from somebody in your situation. I just get nervous is all, but that doesn’t make it your priority!

  73. 73
    tobie says:

    @Chet Murthy: I’ll try to read the article tomorrow. In general I think Dean Baker’s writing on trade deals has been fairly thin gruel and while likely more serious than the Peterson Institute is just as ideological. Brad DeLong has some great pieces on trade deals and the real problems with the populist critique that I find quite convincing.

  74. 74
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    if TPP is so bad then why haven’t Warren et al. called for ending NAFTA and PNTR?

    maybe Warren et al. should also call for mandatory coal stoves and furnaces and a ban on the internet to bring back postal transactions and travel agencies.

  75. 75
    Chet Murthy says:

    @tobie: With respect, I think that’s pretty misleading. We know from many cases to date, that these “labor protections” aren’t merely about wages — they’re about occupational safety, pollution, child labor, and on and on. And I think Dean’s right that when it comes to some gold mining company getting blocked by the Nicaraguan government, well, we need a court. But when it comes to Rana Plaza and a buncha brown people gettin’ killed (or Bhopal), whoa holllld on! And the same applies to the keystone pipeline in the US, ISTR.
    Link from Dean Baker re: labor provisions of TPP

    There is no mechanism through which any of these issues can be brought directly to an independent panel by labor unions or civil society groups that believe they are being violated.

    Rather, action must depend on a complaining government asserting that a country had not met the terms of the agreement. For example, the requirement that Vietnam respect the rights of its workers to organize will have to be enforced in the same way that the United States has in the past enforced provisions requiring that countries like Colombia respect the rights of workers to organize. Of course union organizers in Colombia have continued to be murdered as the Obama administration highlights the reduced pace as progress.

    But it’s actually worse than that. It’s all well and good to -talk- about

    You can employ people who’ve lost their jobs while at the same time creating added value for the whole economy in the form of better public facilities.

    Brad Delong at least admits that it never happens. But he doesn’t then connect to dots, to the point that if you know that B follows A as sure as night follows day, you can’t say “Oh A is great, and B is a regrettable but not inexorable outcome — so when you’re deciding on whether to allow A, don’t consider the possibility of B”.

    And as Dean pointed out in his article about the USITC, the additional trade forecast from the TPP was …. *miniscule*. I think it was 0.014%/yr increase, over 16yr? Something ridiculously trivial.

  76. 76
    jl says:

    @tobie: We are arguing at cross purposes. If Trump does stupid things, then sure, the US could get hurt economically. But if Trump tries to do stupid things and the other countries just go off and do their own trade deals, ignoring the US, then I don’t see how that will cause great harm to the US economically (except maybe to corporate profits of companies that depend heavily in IP protection).

    If we can agree on criteria for ‘Trump doing stupid things’ and ‘other countries reacting to Trump doing stupid things’, then we might have a small wager on it.

  77. 77
    jl says:

    @tobie: I doubt paying a worker making socks in a Bangladesh factory would send US sock prices ‘through the roof’. If you can link to some estimates, I will read them.

  78. 78
    Chet Murthy says:

    @tobie: I respect Brad Delong greatly. But I’ll say again what I wrote above, separately (and hopefully more clearly):

    Brad admits that some groups can be badly hurt by free trade deals. He argues (rightly) that they can be compensated. He admits (rightly) that the Rs have nearly-systematically made this compensation (via trade adjustment assistance and other means) impossible.

    But he doesn’t go on to then conclude that you can’t assume such compensation will occur, when weighing the trade deal. Instead, you MUST assume that those workers are going to get screwed, and badly. It’s not a WIN-WIN. In fact, people get badly hurt.

    And (ISTR) even Delong now admits that Autor et al were right, and that China’s accession to the WTO was badly damaging to US workers, to an extent that surprised him (Delong). Heck, ISTR Autor himself was surprised at the magnitude of the (ISTR empirically measured) effect.

  79. 79
    jl says:

    @Chet Murthy: I think it has been extremely difficult to estimate the net gains to the US economy from the TPP as a whole. The free trade parts would increase welfare in both US and abroad (assuming labor could share in gains from trade in lower income countries). The question is what would increased IP protection do to US dollar exchange rate and trade deficit? Range of estimates so broad that the uncertainty would dwarf potential gains from free trade tariff reductions into insignificance. That was reason for Peterson people to ignore it and just assert it would have no effect, beside their desire to sell the TPP.

  80. 80
    jl says:

    @jl: Meant to say paying a worker in Bangladesh more.

  81. 81
    EBT says:

    @jl: I think it’s a case of paying the McDonalds worker 5 bucks an hour more makes a big mac go up in price by like 17 cents. People see a static increase and forget that it gets amortized across all the big macs (or socks) and not just YOURS.

  82. 82
    No One You Know says:

    @Yarrow: True that about chicken soup. I make my own, although using the entire chicken felt like a waste until I tasted the result.

    My cold’s making me miserable, I can’t drive. So it’s Better than Bouillon for me, with red pepper flakes and garlic. For super warm-up-everything heat, substitute Berebere (Ethiopian spice) and a pinch of ground clove. I can feel it into my ears, which is a good thing, right now.

  83. 83
    D58826 says:


    Unless you were an asshole with severe hatred of trees, anyway.

    i.e a republican

  84. 84
    Joyce H says:

    Has anyone else noticed that the media has apparently decided that the name of this current scandal is “Trump-Russia”? I was seeing that all over the place on Monday.

  85. 85
    Keith G says:

    @tobie: The TTP had some troubling components, but HRC was right the first time. We are better off with it than without it.

    Oh, and AHCA will pass the House.

  86. 86
    Aussie Sheila says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Bingo! The TPP was discussed on the VSP programs directed at the VSPs in Australia as exactly that. It was designed to lay down the trade ‘road rules’ for China, in an attempt to corral China’s adventurist trading ambitions within a US led framework. Notably, the TPP was met with lukewarm support in many sectors of the OZ establishment, while being welcomed in others. The labor movement was distinctly cool, the ALP less so, but sections of the Oz FP establishment were also less keen, as a result of their fear of US ‘containment’ policies towards the PRC, and its potential for destabilising the region.

    The issue of tariffs is a furphy. They are insignificant as a trade barrier, far less than currency volatility. The real problem with the TPP from a non US perspective is the loss of national sovereignty over patents law, national control over pharmaceutical evaluation and prices, IDSP procedures which rely on non state arbitration by corporations, and the attempt by the US to deal with their declining trade hegemony in SE Asia by the imposition of rules that favour their domiciled in name only, corporations.

    Despite the almost universal, cross class revulsion against tRump here, the demise of the TPP was met with an almost audible sigh of relief in civil society, with the exception of the usual suspects here that are US/AUSTRALIA alliance tragics.

    Good riddance IMO.

    Pity that it took a fascist like tRump to dump it, but if that is how the exigencies work out all good.

    No-one here, but no-one, is moaning about the TPP.

  87. 87
    evodevo says:

    @tobie: That’s what they said about NAFTA .. and it didn’t happen. Then China was given MFN status, and that clinched the decline of American mfg…. job losses from that are still ongoing. I don’t know exactly what the solution would be after this long a time, but it will not get better with the status quo. And TPP would have made corporate environmental degradation without penalty a done deal (not that this situation will be avoided under the current administration).

  88. 88
    tobie says:

    @evodevo: Wow! You folks continued through the night on this thread–at least night on US East Coast time. Could have been day wherever you are.

    In a recent article Brad DeLong crunched the numbers on manufacturing, which has been on a steep decline in the US since the 1980s. How much of that decline is due to NAFTA? According to DeLong’s estimates, which I trust, .4%. That’s it. There are many structural reasons for manufacturing’s decline in the US due to globalization and automation but not NAFTA per se. On balance NAFTA created more jobs than it destroyed, though certain sectors of the economy did get hurt and that is a problem that deserves a public policy solution.

    The real problem I have with populist critiques of trade deals is that they present trade as a zero sum gain. Any job Mexico gains, the US loses. That’s not how it works. Increases in the volume of trade–and in the case of Mexico, the creation of a rather large middle class that consumes US products since the passage of NAFTA–creates jobs in the participating countries. See this sober assessment of NAFTA by the Congressional Research Service.

    Jobs that are easily exportable to the Third World or easily retooled to be done by machines are not the ones that sustain an advanced economy. Hillary understood this and that’s why she carefully studied the German model and came up with the most convincing proposals in my view to boost manufacturing in the US. One of the ways to do this is to ensure you have an educated, skilled workforce that can do things that workers in other countries cannot. We’ve invested nothing in job training and given no thought to the possible growth industries of the future, and the price for that has been the loss of jobs for low-skilled labor. It’s easy to rail against trade deals, to talk about fat cats filling their coffers, to demonize non-white countries and non-white labor (the Mexicans! the Chinese!) but none of that will generate jobs.

    @Aussie Sheila: Given that Australia’s biggest industry is commodities, and it’s biggest trading partner is China, it doesn’t surprise me that Aussies would be skeptical about TPP. But I see Australian opposition to it in much the same manner as American support for it: it reflects Australia’s geopolitical interests.

  89. 89
    Uncle Cosmo says:


    Popcorn. Breakfast of champions.

    Fumier: p’tit déjeuner des champignons.

    (Late as shit ;), but just FTR….)

  90. 90
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Yarrow: Try a good big bowl of hot&sour soup. Burn the crap right outa ya. A billion Chinese can’t all be wrong.

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